Guest Post by Chris Brantner, co-founder of SleepZoo.
We all know how important it is to get our beauty sleep. Well, it’s even more important to your dog. Case in point—dogs sleep 14-16 hours a day. That’s double what you or I get each night (unless you’re a teenager, but that’s a different thing altogether).
With dogs spending so much time snoozing, we want to make sure they have the most comfortable sleep possible. That means getting the perfect pet bed (and to be clear, that doesn’t mean letting them in the bed with you). But with so many choices out there, not to mention such a wide price range, there’s a lot to consider before buying.
Here are a few key questions we’d advise you to ask yourself before purchasing a bed for your pup.
1. How Big Is Your Dog?
First and foremost, you need to make sure the bed you choose is large enough for your dog. After all, how would you like for your feet to hang off the bed? Measure the length of your dog, but also make note of how he lays. Make sure the square footage of the bed is enough to accommodate the various positions he might use.
On the other hand, there’s no sense in buying a bed that’s much larger than your dog. It will cost more and take up more space in your home. So, knowing your dog’s measurements can help you make a good choice.
2. What’s the Space Like Where Your Dog Sleeps?
One of my dogs like to curl up in a corner next to the couch. He’s a pretty big lab, but I had to keep in mind the size and shape of the area he likes to lay. The first bed I got for him was too round and didn’t fit. But then I found a pretty large rectangular bed that fits nicely in the spot.
You want to make sure you get a bed large enough for your dog, just make sure it fits in the space your dog prefers to sleep.
3. Does Your Dog Scratch before He Lies Down?
Many dogs will scratch before they lie down. Like circling, it’s an instinct they’ve inherited from their ancestors who would scratch up the dirt to cool down and clear out their space before they’d lie down in the wild. So, if you notice your dog does this, his bed will take a beating.
The solution? Make sure you purchase a durable bed. In fact, some dog mattresses, like the one from Casper, include excess material on top to imitate the feeling of scratching at loose earth.
4. Is Your Dog an Indoor/Outdoor Pet?
If your pooch spends most of the time indoors, odds are he’s pretty clean. However, a dog that spends a lot of time outside is going to be rolling in dirt, debris, and who knows what else. What does that mean for your choice of dog bed? It means you better make sure that your choice comes with a removable, machine washable cover.
And that’s only part of the equation. The cover needs to be easy to get on and off, with durable material that can withstand multiple washes. Of course, that might be hard to tell if you’re purchasing online, so make sure you read the reviews.
5. Does Your Dog Suffer from Arthritis or Joint Problems?
If you answered “yes,” then you need the perfect mix of support and comfort for your dog. You need a bed that’s soft, yet firm and low profile enough to allow them to get in and out easily. Memory foam can be a good choice here. Why? Memory foam not only helps provide comfort and support, but it also can hold heat well, which can feel good for dogs with joint issues.
Keep in mind, just because a dog bed says “orthopedic,” doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the right choice. Be sure to look at what the bed is made of, as well as the height of the bed.
6. What Is the Climate Like Where You Live?
How hot or cold the climate is where you live can affect your bed choice. For example, if it’s pretty cold and you have wood floors, you need something that will keep your pet warm. This could mean an extra plush bed, memory foam, or even a heated bed.
On the other hand, if it’s pretty hot where your dog will sleep, you need to consider the type of materials the bed is made with. You might want a sleek cover and a bed with a little less give to it.
You want to pamper your pooch? Getting them the best bed possible is the perfect place to start. A well-rested dog is a happy dog. Hopefully, these questions will help you find the best bed to get them the rest they deserve.
Chris Brantner is one of the founders of SleepZoo.com, a site aimed at helping people get the best night’s sleep possible. He’s also the proud (and patient) owner of two black labs.